Taking Rites Seriously: Law, Politics, and the Reasonableness of Faith

book cover

A Murphy Institute Book Discussion with author and professor, Francis J. Beckwith

Date & Time:

Thursday, February 16, 2017
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM



Admission is free. Chicken chili dinner will be available for those who register online.


Room 244, University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minneapolis campus


Approved by the Minnesota Board of Continuing Legal Education for 1.0 credit (event code: 234689).

In his award-winning book Taking Rites Seriously, philosopher and legal theorist, Francis J. Beckwith offers a legal perspective of the role of religious reasoning in American jurisprudence and defends religion’s place in public life.  Covering three general topics – reason and motive, dignity and personhood, nature and sex – philosopher and legal theorist Francis J. Beckwith carefully addresses several contentious legal and cultural questions over which religious and non-religious citizens often disagree: the rationality of religious belief, religiously motivated legislation, human dignity in bioethics, abortion and embryonic stem cell research, reproductive rights and religious liberty, evolutionary theory, and the nature of marriage. In the process, he responds to some well-known critics of public faith – including Brian Leiter, Steven Pinker, Suzanna Sherry, Ronald Dworkin, John Rawls, and Richard Dawkins – as well as to some religiously conservative critics of secularism such as the advocates for intelligent design.


Francis J. "Frank" Beckwith is an American philosopher, Christian apologist, scholar, and lecturer.  He is Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies, and Co-Director of the Program in Philosophical Studies of Religion in the Institute for Studies of Religion, at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.  This year he is serving as the Visiting Professor of Conservative Thought and Policy at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Taking Rites Seriously is the winner of the 2016 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion: Constructive-Reflective Studies, American Academy of Religion. This book is available now at the St. Thomas Minneapolis bookstore and will also be available after the program on Thursday, Feb. 16.

All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.